Nearly 3,000 Tennessee Students Honor Teachers In Statewide Essay Contest

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Tennessee Department of Education celebrated three Tennessee students on Wednesday for writing winning essays in a statewide contest highlighting the way in which educators impact lives. The winning students, one each in elementary, middle, and high school, described the teacher they were most thankful for in short essays and video messages. Representatives from the department surprised the teachers featured in the winning essays in three separate events in Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville.

 

The department launched the “Why I’m Thankful for my Teacher” essay contest for the first time in early April. The contest, in conjunction with the department’s efforts to celebrate Tennessee educators during National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 5-9, was designed to share the powerful stories of learning happening everyday in Tennessee classrooms.

Hallie Humes, a second grader at Crump Elementary School in Shelby County, and winner of the kindergarten through third-grade category, submitted a video message about her current second-grade teacher Joyce Latiker Davis.

“I really admire when Ms. Latiker Davis makes work out of games, and I like how she thinks of it very quickly,“ Ms. Humes said in her video message. 

Reva Bagi, a fifth grader at Farragut Intermediate School in Knox County, and winner of the fourth- through eighth-grade category, described how her teacher, Niki Adams, makes her classroom a welcoming and productive environment.

“Ms. Adams really takes the time to focus on each of our problems. Her mind works like the inside of a clock. Gears are spinning, time is being used wisely, and best of all she slows the clock to make time for our problems,” Ms. Bagi said.

Hannah Balint, a freshman at Williamson County’s Page High School, and winner of the ninth- through twelfth-grade category, details how her eighth-grade Algebra teacher, Amy Tidwell, changed her academic career.

“She is a brilliant woman who taught in ways that seemed hard in the beginning, but over time became very manageable. She explained things to us and made sure that we understood them, which is one of the most important things that a teacher can do for their students,” Ms. Balint said.

Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman surprised eighth-grade teacher Amy Tidwell during Page Middle School’s eighth-grade celebration ceremony.

“We know that Tennessee teachers are working incredibly hard to help their students grow and achieve at new levels. We are thrilled that nearly 3,000 students shared stories of how teachers have impacted their lives,” Mr. Huffman said.

Each student winner will receive a $500 scholarship to the college of their choice. The Tennessee Business Roundtable, the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Nashville Chamber of Commerce each donated $500 to make these scholarships possible.

Winning essays and video messages are also featured on the department’s blog, Classroom Chronicles: http://tnclassroomchronicles.org/.

For more information, contact Kelli Gauthier at (615) 532-7817 or Kelli.Gauthier@tn.gov.
 


Chattanooga State PTA Grad Nabs Top Score

Lindsay Childers, a 2015 graduate of the Physical Therapy Assistant Program at Chattanooga State Communtiy College scored the highest possible grade on the National Physical Therapy Exam in July. As an outstanding student, Ms. Childers also was awarded the Program Excellence Award by Caroline Rogers, PTA program director. She is employed by Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton. ... (click for more)

Cleveland Middle School Teacher Reinstated

Dr. Martin Ringstaff, director of Cleveland City Schools, has reinstated Cleveland Middle School teacher, Jeffrey B. Robinson. Bradley County General Sessions Court dismissed the charges filed against Mr. Robinson on Aug. 23. Dr. Ringstaff said, “We are pleased that the charges against Mr. Robinson were dismissed and that he will be back in the classroom. We are glad ... (click for more)

Trustee To Be Appointed To Oversee Hutcheson Medical Center Bankruptcy With Focus On Sale Of Fort Oglethorpe Hospital

A trustee will be appointed to oversee the bankruptcy case of Hutcheson Medical Center with a focus on getting the financially-strapped Fort Oglethorpe hospital sold. The U.S. Trustee's Office had filed a motion asking that the bankruptcy be dissolved due to the debt rising to $6.3 million since the bankruptcy was filed last November. However, all parties finally agreed it was ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Reaches Settlement With Former Police Chief On Lawsuit

The Soddy Daisy Commission acting on the recommendation from City Attorney Sam Elliott, voted to accept the decision made during mediation regarding a lawsuit against the city. City Manager Janice Cagle and attorney Elliott attended a day-long mediation concerning that lawsuit against the city brought by former police chief David Loftis claiming wrongful termination. While the city ... (click for more)

Who's Responsible For East Ridge's Stadium? - And Response (2)

There just can be no excuse for East Ridge High School's stadium being in such dangerous condition that it has been condemned.   Where is responsible for this? I know there are a few other stadiums like this as well. And there is no excuse for this.  Building new and beautiful schools, state of the art technology. Top athletic facilities as well. Yet, East Ridge ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Every Child Must Watch This

In the course of my day, I read different websites, am sent all kinds of neat videos and I love the jokes I get. But when I logged onto my ever-bulging email account Thursday morning, I happened across the scariest, most terrifying video I have ever watched. There is a website I check called “Atchuup” that boasts “cool stories daily.” Some are pretty good but this one nearly knocked ... (click for more)